The way I'm thinking about the story now, she left the US to join the Canadian Women's Army Corps soon after it was established, worked in manufacturing, but was injured in a disabling factory accident and so has moved back home. I'm really worried that this is too unrealistic a scenario to use in good conscience.
I know there were men who moved to Canada to enlist before the US entered WWII. Are there records of any women doing this? Is there a plausible way that a woman could have done this (above-board or not)?
It would be a lot simpler to have her enlist in the US Women's Army Corps when it's established, but CWAC works better for me for a few reasons:
-it gives me more time to have the events of the story play out - if she joined the US WAAC, this means the time she's working in the factory is chronologically later on she would have very little time back in New York during the war years.
-I think her having taken this step would show that she is passionate about fighting Nazism and angry at her own country. Canada established the CWAC before the US even entered the war.
-narratively, I like that she is returning home after a period of living in a new place, far away from her family
If in your opinion having her enlist in Canada is not possible, are there more realistic historical alternatives that would keep the above factors?
I really appreciate any help!
Things I have tried:
- Googling "CWAC" and reading all the pages I get that give an overview of how the CWAC worked.
- Googling things like "Americans enlisting in Canadian army" "American women enlisting CWAC" and variants
- ordering from the library all the memoirs I can find of women who served in US or Canadian armies during WWII